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bars � drink
Dry' doesn't refer to where a gin is made,
but how it's made. I'll spare you the geeky
details but the main thing to know about
this style, which originated in London in
the 1830s, is that it tends to be big on gin's
signature botanical, juniper, which gives those
unmistakable gin notes of pepper, lavender
and pine. Two ne examples are Boodles and
Beefeater, which has a
more citrusy character.
Both are great in a G�T.
If you crave an even
stronger juniper hit,
then make a beeline for
the limited edition VJOP
(very-juniper-over-proof) gin from pioneering
London micro-distillers Sipsmith, which uses
a variety of di� erent distillation techniques to
showcase juniper's many di� erent facets. But
do take note of this gin's formidable strength
- at 57.7% abv it's roughly a third stronger
than your average gin.
For something a little less bracing, you
cannot go wrong with Plymouth, an historic
recipe made with sweet, rather than bitter,
orange and rootsy, powdery botanicals to
produce a softer, more delicate gin that's
excellent in cocktails (but don't take my word
for it - the iconic Savoy Cocktail Book from
1930 mentions it everywhere). A modern-day
gin in a similar vein would be Leopold's from
Colorado, which has mouth-watering notes
of grapefruit-like pomelo fruit.
Exotic-sounding botanicals can sometimes
be a bit of a
gimmick, but that's
not the case with
Sacred, a superb
gin from north
among its 12. Seductive and complex, this is
de nitely one to savour in a Martini (they also
do a very good red vermouth and a Camparilike
Rosehip Cup - mix all three and you've
got a north London Negroni).
I'm also a big fan of Anno gin from
Kent, which is made with a variety of local
ingredients, including samphire, lavender
and hops, botanicals that give it an uplifting,
coastal character with a slightly saline edge.
Roaming much further a eld, Whitley
Neill's botanicals include African baobab
fruit and Cape gooseberries, for an exotic
citrus twist. While fans of Dirty Martinis will
love Gin Mare, a gin from the Mediterranean
made with olives, rosemary and basil - I like
this best with tonic, a slice of orange and a
sprig of thyme. Or for sipping neat, try Death's
Door gin from Wisconsin, served over ice.
It's made with just three botanicals (fennel,
coriander and locally picked juniper), and
it's deliciously cool and crisp.
A taste of luxury
Even if you're not a fan of the rather tame
Bombay Sapphire, the new Star of Bombay is
worth a try. Higher strength and embellished
with extra botanicals, which include zesty
bergamot and nutty ambrette, this imposinglooking
luxury variant really amps things up.
Tanqueray Ten though, with its chamomile
and grapefruit notes, would still be my choice
for a really decadent G�T.
Another high-end newcomer that's very
impressive is Jinzu, a gin made with a genrebending
recipe that includes cherry blossom
and sake distillate. The ¨ avours ¨ ower prettily
before closing with a subtle, savoury tang.
THE ANATOMY OF THE G&T
Gin � Tonic is very easy to make, but for that reason it can go badly wrong.
Here are some tips to ensure your next is on top form
botanicals can be
a bit of a gimmick
Ensure your gin is a minimum of
40% abv, as that's what serves
as the carrier for � avour. And
don't freeze it - it mu� es the
aromas. When it comes to ratio,
it's a matter of taste - some
people like it 50/50, but I think a
respectable G&T should be one
part gin to three parts tonic.
Whichever tonic you use, it's
critical that it's very � zzy and
cold, so always buy your tonic
in little bottles or cans and keep
them in the fridge.
Use as much ice as possible
so that the drink will stay cold
for as long as possible without
diluting. Fill your glass all the
way up with the largest, freshest
cubes you can � nd.
I like my G&T in a chunky rocks
glass, but on a hot day, a G&T
can also be refreshing served
Spanish-style in a big goblet
over crushed ice.
Now we're au fait with the
cucumber slice, what next?
Pink grapefruit is a favourite of
mine, or try a twist of citrus peel.
Sprigs of herbs are good too.
Or buy an atomiser, � ll it with
rosewater, Campari, or cocktail
bitters and spritz your drink.